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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - February 16, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina Inside Rainman Tops Oscar Nominees Page 3A A Quick Read Nancy Thurmond Still In Running Nancy Thurmond wife of US Sen Strom Thurmond RSC continues to be a front runner among those seeking appointment as Commerce Department undersecretary for tour ism and trade Reports within the Bush Adminis tration said no decision has been made on filing the job but the front runner appears to be Rockwell Schnabel a key Bush supporter in last years campaign The same reports said that if Schnabel gets the job Mrs Thur mond likely would be named a depu ty undersecretary in the department The job is considered a high profile position especially in the touristrich Sun Belt states and the West Coast mm Officials Deny Sale Rumors United Merchants and Manufac turers Inc officials are denying ru mors that the sale of the Clearwater Finishing Plant has been completed Its looking encouraging said Gerald B Stroud of the Greenville office The buyer has not been announced although Union Color and Chemical of Union is the name most often as sociated with the purchase of the plant Union Color and Chemical officials could not be reached for comment This rumor joins a host ofother rumors over the past year United Merchants and Manufac turers Inc stock closed yesterday at 2 on the New York Stock Exchange The plant closed in March 1988 and since that time several firms have expressed interest in the plant In September 1988 Bobby Neal of Union Color and Chemical expressed confidence that he could finalize the purchase of the plant within a couple of weeks The purchase never materialized Weather Continued Mild Partly cloudy skies are forecast to night with a 20 percent chance of rain and a low in the mid 50s Mostly cloudy skies are forecast Friday with a 30 percent chance of rain and cooler weather The high will be in the mid 60s Please see Page 7A for details Deaths Ramon Baynham North Augusta Pearl H Foreman Aiken Kenneth G Goodwin Warrenville Edward V Hild Aiken Mrs Bruce W Kingman North Augusta James H Grant New Ellenton Harold B Peacock Augusta Please see Page 7 A for details Inside Today Bridge5B Calendar5A Classifieds3B Comics6A Crossword6B Cryptoquote4B Dear Abby6A Local Front1B Obituaries7A Opinions4A Sports7A Television6A Weather7A Page Housing Starts Rise 8 In January Bush Brings Presidential Aura To SC Senate Voting Today On Seat Belts By The Associated Press s COLUMBIA The state Senate has shut down debate for the first time this year and set a specific time to vote on a seat belt bill The 299 vote after 3 hours of debate on four amendments was a clear sign the Senate is ready to move to other matters after almost two weeks of debate said Sen John Land DClarendon and the bills chief sponsor I think weve abused ourselves long enough Sen Land said Wednesday The Senate vote set 2 pm Thursday as the time to vote immediately and without I think weve abused our selves long enough Sen John Land debate on all pending amendments and the bill It also precluded the introduction of any further amendments The bill would tie a average auto mobile insurance premium rollback to a mandatory seat belt requirement Driv ers or their passengers found not wear ing a seat belt when stopped for another offense would face a fine though ru ral mailmen public transportation vehi cles and some other exemptions are allowed Opponents to the bill have swamped it with amendments bogging down pro gress on the bill All failed on Wednesday For example when the Senate began debate at pm following President George Bushs State House visit about five amendments were pending At the close of the day Wednesday 12 were still awaiting debate But proponents have done their own bit of stalling After failing in a tabling mo tion Sen Land took the floor for about 40 minutes until bill supporters could be rounded up to protect the bill from amendment State Sen Glenn McConnell R Charleston lamented the shutting down of debate but said proponents were just as guilty of extending the battle as opponents They love extended debate when it helps them and hate it when it hurts them he said Heats Nice But Worrisome Cold Snap Could Hurt Crops Plants LJKE A SUMMER Record setting temperatures bring cut the sdtenalin in youngsters like Joey Kuntz who plays on the swings on the playground at Millbrook Elementary School By NINA J NIDIFFER Staff Writer Golfers by the score took advan tage of Aikens springsweet weather Wednesday but the folks at Highland Park Country Club could not decide whether to be jubi lant or worried Larry Brunson club house oper ator estimated that 40 percent more golfers than usual came out to enjoy the sunny day As far as golfing went the day was perfect But if this warm spell keeps up the Bermuda grass on the course is going to come up too early leaving it vulnerable to the first cold snap that comes along he said That is a problem worrying peo ple all over the state Flowers are blooming fruit trees are bursting forth like cotton balls and winter browned grass is starting to show patches of green The warmth is nice everyone agrees but the fear of a cold snap that will kill every thing the sun brought out lingers on Aiken and Edgefields peach trees do not know they are bloom ing in February According to Please See HEATS Page 12A Westinghouse Taking More Responsibility At SRP By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer The new Savannah River Plant con tractor is taking an increasing role in preparations for restarting SRPs pro duction reactors and despite much re maining study expects to recommend in March when those weapons facilities should go back on line Its obvious its going to be on our shift said Jack N Herrmann a spokes man for Westinghouse Savannah River Co selected last fall to replace the Du Pont Co as SRP contractor on April 1 All three of Savannah Rivers operable production reactors which supply triti um and plutonium for US nuclear weap ons have been idled since last summer for Department of Energyordered up grades to equipment and operating procedures The most optimistic speculation has one of the three reactors restarting late Tritium Sales QuestionedPage 12A this year or early next but the DOE has announced no firm restart timetable Westinghouse specialists assigned an advisory role in restart preparations are becoming more and more involved as they become better acquainted with the plant and its unique 1950sera reactors Herrmann said I dont want to say that theyre run ning the show he added Du Pont retains responsibility for the site through March 31 but the chief Wes tinghouse reactor official Charles L Peckinpaugh is already a familiar pres ence at SRP Hes basically since day one been op erating as a Du Pont employee Herr mann said See WESTINGHOUSE Page 12A Most SRP Workers Want To Stay On Job From Staff Reports About 300 Savannah River Plant em ployees have indicated theyll leave when Westinghouse begins operating the plant on April 1 but the company is still waiting to hear the plans of another 500 Westinghouse Savannah River Co the new plant contractor had made last Friday the deadline for plant employees to accept or reject blanket job offers All but 500 of the 10000 forms sent to employees had been returned as of Tuesday company spokesman Jack N Herrmann said Herrmann estimated there are 300 re spondents who do not want to be con sidered for employment by Westinghouse Right now its running at just a hair under 3 percent Herrmann said Westinghouse will make followup calls to collect the remaining 500 which are still out for various reasons he said The 300 figure does not include em ployees who plan to retire as employees of the Du Pont Co departing contrac tor and rehire under Westinghouse Du Pont had projected that about 500 employees would retire and stay retired when it leaves Herrmann said the purpose of his companys survey was to get an early handle on staffing needs The Department of Energyowned plant which makes nuclear weapons materials has about 16700 total em ployees These include DOE and vari ous subcontractors Says Hanford Plant Study Just Part Of Contingency Plan By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer Department of Energy officials say a DOEcommissioned study on producing weaponsgrade tritium in Washington State reflects only a contingency plan And strong community and political support for the Savannah River Plant makes it unlikely that the DOE will move tritium production away from the SRP a spokesman for US Rep Butler C Derrick DSC maintains A threeyear million conversion codd outfit the idled N Reactor at the DOEs Hanford Reservation to produce tritium for nuclear weapons according to a study fay Westinghouse Hanford Co contractor at the site near Richland Wash That figure is about million less than the amount the DOE has requested next year toward restarting one of SRPs three idled reactors wnich now provide the nations only source of the perishable radioactive gas Hartfords N Reactor which was used for about 25 years to produce weapons grade plutonium was placed on cold standby early last year because of a plutonium surplus The million study which the DOE authorized considered whether the N Reactor could become a shortterm triti um producer until proposed new produc tion reactors at Savannah River and Idaho are completed about the year 2000 The lingering shutdown of the SRPs reactors for DOEordered improve ments to management and hardware has raised concerns about tritium supplies The DOE initiated the N Reactor study and wanted to keep it as a contin gency said Will Callicott a depart ment spokesman in Washington but he said the DOE has made no decision to carry through on those plans Jay Hyde Rep Derricks press secre tary cited the Aiken areas support for the SRP and said the DOE acknowl edged that in picking Savannah River for its primary NPR He cited former Energy Secretary Please See DOE Page 12A Authorities Question Suspect Victim Introduced To President By The Associated Press A Georgia man was questioned by au thorities in Texas while the teenager he is charged with kidnapping 17yearold Shari Dawn Teets visited with Presi dent George Bush in Columbia South Carolina Gov Carroll A Campbell said Ms Teets boarded Air Force One and met with Bush before his speech Wednesday to the General Assem bly The president gave her a lapel pin commemorating his visit to South Carolina MS TEETS Gov Campbell who met Ms Teets Tuesday at the airport while changing planes said she hoped to catch a glimpse of the president Ms Teets under protec tive custody had gone to the airport with a law enforcement officer to see the pres idential limousine that was flown from Washington When Gov Campbell arrived in Colum bia with Bush on Wednesday someone told him Ms Teets was in the crowd I just went over there and got her and took her up and introduced her to the president Gov Campbell said That little girls been through hell He said the meeting was very spontaneous Miss Teets and her family remained in protective custody Wednesday as South Carolina State Law Enforcement Divi sion agents flew to Texas to search Rich ard Daniel Starretts car Lexington County Sheriffs Depart ment spokesman Bob Ford said a SLED forensic expert accompanied officials from Lexington County and Columbia County to Houston where the Martinez Ga man is in custody Starrett a 29yearold engineer em ployed by Bechtel National Inc and as signed to the Savannah River Plant was arrested in Texas late Tuesday night while sleeping in his car at an interstate rest area He is charged with kidnapping in Lex ington County and faces a federal kid napping charge filed by the FBI Colum bia County authorities have charged him Please See AUTHORITIES Page 12A
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